Credit to: Ryan Shea

I think how it is for any type of person, man or woman, gay or straight, that they hit some type of pinnacle in their lives that make them reexamine their past and essentially how they want to move forward with the next big step.  This particular step for me lately is that I will be turning 30 this July, and that at the moment I’m… single.  When it comes to terms and self-identification in the bear community, generally two big ones are “cub”, which is (not always) but a good amount of times described as a younger type of bear, and then “daddy” which is designed (once again, not always) for an older type.  Yes, both can be used as “a frame of mind”, meaning not just your chronological age, but with that taken out what happens when you are somewhere in the middle and you are trying to navigate the dating world without ending up like Jan Brady?

Being at the age that I am at, I have noticed that there are quite a good amount of positives when you are in the median section of the age range when it comes to dating.  If you are open to dating younger or older, the midpoint to which you are at can generally have you check off a ton more dating boxes as opposed to when you were in your early 20’s and can only go upwards.  You also start to realize that dating someone in their early 20’s can have its benefits of having them be energetic, full of life, green and a naive aspect about them that can be cute yet startling when you are aware that they haven’t gone through a lot of life experiences that you have.  It is very hard, in that sense, to find someone with the maturity and focus to really see yourself dating long term and not just have it turn into a fuck buddy situation.  There is also the financial aspect in things, which can get tricky when you reach a certain age and have established yourself in the “money” sense, where they can be fresh out of college and in a ton of debt and it can somewhat turn into a “sugar daddy” situation without it being on purpose that it turned out that way.  Albeit, everyone is different, just been my experience.

I am someone, for the most part, who has always been into older men since i hit my college days in Providence.  I’m not sure if it was the guys that I would see on television (Chris Meloni, I’m looking at you here), but there was a physical aspect to them that I always enjoyed.  When the dating aspect came in, I noticed that for the most part these guys had a ton of life experiences, can hold a conversation that doesn’t revolve around silly gossip and mindless chitchat, and have a very relaxed vibe about them.  With my attraction still honed into the older type of guy, I start to wonder that if I remain single for a good amount of time, will these types of men that I will eventually turn into turn a blind eye and then go for the me’s of the world when I was in my early to mid 20’s?

There is also the reversed situation, when a good friend of mine who just turned 50 was interested in a guy that is 30.  His thought process about dating someone with that large of an age gap read like “If we are together for 15 years, and break up, then I’m 65, he’s only 45… and where does that lead me to find a life partner at that age?”  Is it foolish of ourselves to really think that far in advanced when it comes to our own “clock” ticking for the end goal of a life partner, or to simply just enjoy the ride as we go along with whomever we date?

You can also avoid both aspects of the older/younger thing and get to a point where a guy around your age range really works. Many relationships that i know in the bear community are two people who are only a handful of years apart and seem to have similar life goals achieved and ones that are within reach of doing so.  In a strange way, this is kind of like a gay version of Goldilocks, where maybe this one will fit just right.  In some sense, the ones you grew up with and avoided at at earlier age can actually work out for you in the long run as the maturity (for most) has set in and the path to the future seems a lot clearer.

Years ago, this whole midpoint aspect was something that i never really thought but now that i am nearing my 30’s, it is something that I have to really evaluate as my social networking pages have become overwhelmingly seen as a “engaged/married/kids/moving in” type posts every single day.  You may think this sort of a thing only affects women who are really wanting to get married, but it has just as much an effect on the single gay man who yearns for that type of relationship with just the right person.  Question is, with everything that has been said, is age really a factor when you are at this stage in your life?